March 2021

Paedophile given police escort to court over fears for his safety

A primary school sports coach who had videos of children being raped was given a police escort to court today.

Ian Kaufman was due to be sentenced for sickening crimes at Liverpool Crown Court where he “arrived with a group of officers”.

The court heard he had experienced unspecified “problems” which prompted the police escort, but no further explanation was given in open court.

The 48-year-old, who has since been fired from Middlefield Community Primary School in Speke, pleaded guilty to a number of offences including attempting to take and possessing images of child sex abuse at a previous hearing.

He also admitted owning an extreme pornographic image involving a “donkey or a young horse”.

Kenneth Grant, prosecuting, explained that the Crown Prosecution Service were not “in a position to prosecute today” and asked the court to adjourn the case.

Judge David Swinnerton said: “So there’s no mystery this isn’t a simple straightforward case where someone has indecent images on their phone.”

The judge noted a relationship between Kaufman and a 16-year-old “Scottish girl”.

Judge Swinnerton said: “I have seen very very limited information as to what’s gone on.”

The judge explained there were some Snapchat messages uploaded to the court’s digital case system, adding: “I would like to see more build up of that relationship.”

Judge Swinnerton added Kaufman “purported to be a 17-year-old boy” explaining he would “like more detail of that”.

The judge, speaking about the victim, said: “I understand why that person doesn’t want to openly assist, frankly because she doesn’t want her parents to know about it. Even that fact on its own suggests some vulnerability.”

Jason Smith, defending, said it would be “extremely helpful” if the girl’s “detailed account” was provided to all the parties so they could “see and consider the extent of that relationship and the extent of any grooming that took place”.

Mr Smith added that he didn’t believe Kaufman had spoken to the girl on the Kik messenger app adding “I think he Snapchatted her”.

The judge also requested that descriptions of the images were served and explained the next court hearing would take place on April 27.

Mr Smith, asking for Kaufman to be bailed under the same conditions as previously ahead of the next hearing, said the police officer in the case “has no fear of the defendant committing offences or absconding and believes this very very strongly”.

Mr Smith said Kaufman has “cooperated with all the agencies” adding there are “no concerns about his compliance”.

He said: “They believe to keep him on bail as long as possible is in his interest to ensure he completes the courses.”

Mr Smith added there were “real concerns as to his mental health” and explained two and a half weeks ago there was a “further suicide attempt on his part” and he is now “under supervision in the community”.

He said: “He will be vulnerable and very much at risk if remanded.”

Mr Smith added that Kaufman would be under “very stringent conditions” and “supervised by police”, explaining he is “at risk” and “vulnerable”.

“You can see by the fact an officer drove him to court today, concerns are for his welfare.”

Judge Swinnerton suggested that one of the reasons for considering remanding Kaufman into custody was his safety.

The judge said: “I raised it really as a pragmatic possibility in light of firstly the guidelines and secondly the problems Mr Kaufman has had which is why he has come with a group of police officers this morning.”

Having heard submissions from Mr Smith the judge said: “I will re bail him on the same terms as before.”

Kaufman, of East Dam Wood Road, Speke, has no previous convictions, a court previously heard.

Kaufman previously admitted; three counts of making an indecent photograph of a child, two counts of attempting to take an indecent photograph of a child; possessing 35 prohibited images of a child; possessing an extreme pornographic image and possessing 40 indecent photographs of a child.

He was bailed until April 27 and must have no unsupervised contact with a child under the age of 18.